I’ve been using Storify to curate Tweets and posts from the 2015 Spring Conference of the New England Society of Healthcare Communications. The Story begins with pre-conference Tweets and then is broken up into chapters covering various events. The Storify will grow as we travel through the rest of this conference. For now, I thought I’d share with you the content that I’ve aggregated to date. Enjoy! Here’s the link: https://storify.com/dandunlop/neshco2015-curated

Here are the Twitter metrics for Day One of the 2015 Spring Conference of the New England Society for Healthcare Communications – courtesy of Symplur. The festivities started officially at 2pm with a pre-conference social media workshop. Today we had 33 people Tweeting using the #NESHCo2015 hashtag; 215 total Tweets; and a total of 340, 067 potential impressions.

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Greetings! One of the benefits of attending a conference is the opportunity to make connections with peers and thought leaders. In this post, I’m sharing a list of ten of my favorite people who are attending the 2015 Conference of the New England Society for Healthcare Communications. These are people I have come to know during my travels to healthcare marketing conferences and summits around the country. Most of them I have know for many years and have developed strong friendships. They are all respected healthcare marketing professionals with an impressive scope of knowledge. Many of these individuals are either speakers at this conference or represent companies exhibiting.

  1. Jeff Steblea – VP Research Analysis & Management, Market Street Research – Jeff is part of my inner sanctum! He is a great guy and his firm does top notch work. They know healthcare. We recently completed a brand perception study together for one of my hospital clients in Massachusetts and his firm’s work was exceptional. Plus, Jeff is a musician and loves craft beer. What’s not to like?
  2. Moses Hohman – CEO, Human Practice – Moses and I met in person two or three years ago in Chicago. We struck up a friendship over some good food (Indian) and even better conversation. His firm helps hospitals stop referral leakage by connecting your docs with the referring docs using proprietary digital technology. Moses gets it! He’s also married to an incredibly smart woman (a physician) who co-founded Human Practice and brings a clinical perspective to the leadership team.
  3. Joel Cessna – VP of Sales for Eruptr – Joel and I first met when he was working with Medicom Health Interactive. Since then, he has joined Eruptr – experts in Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing and conversion solutions that yield measurable results. Joel is a good friend and has been a strong supporter of NESHCo for the last three years.
  4. Ahava Leibtag – President, Aha Media Group – Ahava and I first met at one of Mayo Clinic’s social media conferences. We instantly struck a friendship. She is one of the leading content strategists in the business.
  5. Paul Griffiths – President, MedTouch – Paul runs one of the top web development firms in healthcare. We’ve known each other for years and he is one of the people in the industry I turn to for advice/guidance.
  6. Claudia Shellhammer – National Director of Business Development, Spirit of Women/Spirit Health Group – I have a close relationship with Spirit of Women and speak regularly at their conferences. Because of that, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Claudia Shellhammer and many other members of the Spirit Health team. If you aren’t familiar with them, they partner with hospitals and healthcare organizations to more effectively reach women!
  7. Jeff McPherson – Chief Digital Officer, SilverTech – You’ll recognize Jeff because he looks like Chandler Bing from Friends, but he’s much taller! SilverTech is based in Manchester, NH, but is making waves across the country. We recently partnered with them on the development of a new website for WorldCare International. SilverTech is a national digital lifecycle agency designing creative, integrated and interactive technology solutions.
  8. Chad Campbell – Account Manager, SilverTech – Chad is one of the nicest guys in healthcare marketing.  Chad and is firm are big supporters of NESHCo. He was a speaker at last year’s conference. His firm, SilverTech, just sponsored a special NESHCo Marketing After Hours Event in Boston. We attend a lot of the same healthcare marketing conference and I always enjoy reconnecting with him.
  9. Jim Rattray – Bennett Group – Jim joined the Bennett Group just about a year ago. He is a healthcare marketing thought leader and a good friend. Well worth getting to know.
  10. Dewey Mooring – VP, Jennings – Dewey is one of my colleagues. We have worked together on and off since 1989. Dewey is the lead marketer and strategist on many of our accounts including Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. He was a speaker, together with Hope Rush of Dartmouth-Hitchcock, at last year’s NESHCo conference.

That’s my list. Enjoy the conference. If you happen to see me wandering around, please come up and say hello. I’m here to meet people, renew acquaintances and reconnect with good friends – and learn!

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 2.54.38 PMThis week I will be Tweeting and Blogging from the 2015 Conference of the New England Society for Healthcare Communications. The conference is taking place at the Seaport Hotel in Boston.

If you’re attending the conference, I’ll be presenting on two different topics, with two different co-presenters.

On Thursday, May 21, I present at 3pm with Laura Pierce of Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children. Our topic is: The Referring Physician Marketing Tool Kit. We’ll share details from the referring physician marketing program we develop for Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children.

On Friday, May 22 at 9:30am, I present with Brooke Hynes of Tufts Medical Center. Together we’ll share a contemporary vision of integrated marketing and share many of the metrics we track as part of the process. Our vision of integrated marketing includes blogs, social media digital advertising, SEM, video and online patient communities. We work to integrate traditional tools (don’t throw the baby out with the bath water) with new media. What we love about many of the new tools is that they are so targeted and measurable.

This is going to be a great conference. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, the line up of national presenters is impressive.

If you attend the conference, please come up and say hello. If you’re not there, feel free to follow my Tweets beginning this evening. The conference hashtag is #NESHCo2015. I’ll also crank out a few blog posts along the way.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.30.03 AMEach year, Richard Cohen of Healthcare Marketing Report asks me to write a Point of View piece (POV) for his publication. This is a great opportunity for me to share my thinking on the state of healthcare marketing and my vision for the future. Richard is very kind to give me that opportunity. (As an aside, one of the many things I like about Richard is that he is a pizza connoisseur. Although I am not a connoisseur, I am an avid pizza lover. So we have that in common.)

My latest POV piece appears in the May issue of Healthcare Marketing Report. I just received my copy yesterday and shared it with my team. To give you a small taste of the article, here’s an excerpt from the first paragraph:

“Healthcare marketing is facing a crisis of relevance. For marketing to be relevant, it needs to be of value to those receiving the communication. When hospitals, medical centers and health systems promote their services, technologies and procedures, they largely miss the mark. While healthcare communicators spew content in the hope that someone will pay attention, consumers turn the other way. Why wouldn’t they turn away? We are largely talking about ourselves, looking inward, and that just isn’t interesting.” (Healthcare Marketing Report, Volume 33, Number 5, May 2015)

I invite you to check out the latest issue of Healthcare Marketing Report (HMR). You’ll find my article beginning on page 17. And if you don’t subscribe to HMR, I recommend looking into it.

(One caveat: I am not a healthcare attorney: I am a healthcare marketer. If you have a legal question, consult your corporate attorney. This post contains my interpretation of the implication of HIPAA regulations impacting business associates [photographers, videographers, ad agencies] that a hospital may employ. I am offering common sense advice, not legal expertise.)

The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), defines a business associate as any organization or person working in association with or providing services to a covered entity who handles or discloses Personal Health Information (PHI) or Personal Health Records (PHR). For those of use working in healthcare marketing and communications, that includes videographers, photographers, media companies, advertising agencies and marketing firms, among others. There are special measures these organizations must take to ensure the security of private health information that they may gather as they work with their healthcare clients. All of us need to be aware of these and remain vigilant.

Updates made to the HIPAA regulation by the HITECH Act require business associates to comply with HIPAA mandates regarding the handling and use of PHI. As of February 18, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services can audit business associates for HIPAA compliance.

IMG_9735Any company working with private health information should conduct a thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information held by that entity. Risk assessments should be conducted at regular intervals, and documented. Policies should be updated periodically as well.

If, as a hospital marketing professional, you allow a vendor to leave your facility with private health information, you need to know that they have systems in place for properly safeguarding that information. It is not enough for them to tell you that they will “blur out the patient’s information” from the finished video or photograph. Trust me, I hear this all the time. It does not satisfy the requirements for the safeguarding of private health information under HIPAA.

Here’s a very real scenario:

A video crew is shooting a monitor in your hospital’s cath lab. They promise to blur out the patient’s information in the finished video. You allow them to leave with the patient’s private health information recorded on digital video. Even if they blur out the patient’s information in the final product, what happens to the raw digital files? How are those safeguarded? How are they protected from a potential security breach, if at all? These are the things you need to know.

My preference would be that you not allow business associates or vendors to capture private patient health information at all. If you’re shooting monitors, use black tape to cover up any information that may identify the patient. Why even risk having private health information exposed unnecessarily? That is far different from photographing and videotaping patients that have signed a HIPAA release. (Remember, a standard photographer’s release is not sufficient when dealing with patients.)

Things you should know:

You should also know if your vendor has assigned a Security Official to oversee the development, implementation, monitoring, and communication of security policies and procedures within the organization.  How are digital files stored to maintain security? When employees of the firm access files that contain private information, is each point of access logged properly? What are the firm’s policies and procedures for granting access to electronic protected health information; for example, through access to a workstation, transaction, program, process, or other mechanism? Has the organization implemented a security awareness and training program for all members of its workforce (including management)? There should be procedures in place for  guarding against, detecting, and reporting malicious software; monitoring log-in attempts and reporting discrepancies; creating, changing, and safeguarding passwords.

If you’d like to learn more, I recommend checking out the HHS Audit Protocol.



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